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Creating Emotional Connection through Social Responsibility

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Sep 05, 2019

The Discipline of Mission describes the whole environment of the company, how it gives back to the community, and why it exists other than just to make money. It outlines a win-win-win situation where the organization grows and employs more people, who then have more money to spend, enabling other businesses to grow. It’s about social responsibility.

Social responsibility extends to your employees, your products, and everything your company does.

Social responsibility means more than making a positive difference in the lives of our employees and our communities. It involves creating positive change in the world.

Doing this adds zeros to your company and everything around you.

In a company that doesn’t focus on the Discipline of Mission, employees have jobs rather than careers, people tend to show up just on time or late, and they leave early. There’s high employee turnover, and people aren’t engaged either with the company or the local community.

When a company is fully focused on the Discipline of Mission, its employees have an emotional connection with the company. They’re happy in their jobs. They see their roles as a calling. They’re admired in the community.

Here are suggested steps to creating a social responsibility strategy for your company.

  • Know yourself. Your strategy for social responsibility must be authentic and must ring true for your organization's core values and purpose.
  • Get a good fit. The goals should be consistent with your company's goals. A company that sells eyewear – such as Warby Parker, which we talk about below – is consistent with its purpose in making eyewear or vision-related businesses part of its social responsibility strategy.
  • Be consistent. Everyone in your company should know what your social responsibility strategy is.
  • Make it easy to understand. Like a good purpose statement, a good social-responsibility strategy should be clear, concise and meaningful so that everyone can quickly comprehend it.
  • Tell your story. Share your social-responsibility strategy with the world, as a way of demonstrating the good you do but also in inspiring others to do something similar.

One company that has fosters social responsibility is the eyewear retailer Warby Parker. Warby Parker uses a buy-one, give one social entrepreneurship model. For each pair of glasses purchased, the company pays for the production of another pair of eyeglasses for the non-profit organization VisionSpring, which works to ensure affordable access to eyewear, everywhere. The Christian Science Monitor has said that this model provides positive marketing for the company. Warby Parker has distributed over five million pairs of eyeglasses to people in need.

In addition, as part of Warby Parker's work in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University is conducting a study to understand the correlation between correcting someone's vision and increasing reading scores as well as the benefits of ensuring access to glasses for children in urban settings. This is true social responsibility.

It’s important to get emotional sustenance where we work, in the things we do every day, and in the things that we do to make our world a better place. Those emotional connections come from fulfilling our purpose, living our core values, and giving back to make the world a better place.

To recap, social responsibility is part of the Discipline of Mission. It extends to your employees, your products, and everything your company does. It means more than making a positive difference in the lives of our employees and our communities – it's about creating positive change in the world.

We'd love to hear from you. How does your company give back? Thank you for sharing.